V. Kurpienė says that as they must keep up with the ever-changing needs and growing expectations, the biggest bread manufacturers now pay a huge attention to the ingredients they use. That is exactly why the supermarket shelves are constantly filling up with healthy alternatives for those watching their diet.
"A belief that bread barely stuffs the stomach and leads to weigh gain is a myth. As in every other case, rule 'less is more' should be applied here as well. Different ingredients used in bread have different effects on the body but well-chosen products both boost your energy and give that long-lasting sense of satiation. For example, one feels no need to have a snack after eating some high-quality bread with nutritious toppings such as oil-rich fish or various greens. And this is how bread can be shape-friendly", V. Kurpienė says and kindly shares some principles of making the right pick.
Ensures feeling of fullness
Nutrition expert stresses that in order to lose weight and ensure that it is not immediately gained back, one should get rid of hunger. "Of course, snacks can fill us up fast but that feeling will be short-lived, and the need for snacking will follow us through the day accumulating huge amounts of empty calories. This is the reason behind why meals and the in-between snacks must have nutritional value ", V. Kurpienė points out.
That way whole-grain bread, especially of those rich in protein (i.e. oat) is a perfect choice. "Added grains, such as millet, spelt or any other is not to be overlooked, too. Whole grains are rich in nutrients and tend make you feel full for longer, so the craving to over-eat or snack on low-value processed foods is gone", V. Kurpienė suggests.
She notes that protein is the element helping the sense of satiety to stay. It is found in such bread ingredients as milk or whey powder, wheat germ, oat, or whole grain flour. Packaging always includes details on how much protein the product contains. Specifically, if 100 grams of bread have 10 grams of protein, it is a great balance.
"No less important is the amount of sugar, which is also included in the ingredient list. The ideal option is no more than 2 g of sugar in 100 g of bread, although the usual recommendation is no more than 5 g, otherwise such a bread product might be considered as pastry", V. Kurpienė advises.
V. Kurpienė also emphasizes, that oat or whole grain bread is highly rich in fiber, which improves the digestive system functions and helps to maintain or even lose weight.
"Whole grain or less-refined grain bread has its positive effects thanks to fiber, found in oat, millet, spelt, plantain or refined grains themselves. Undoubtedly, extra added wheat, oat and rye fiber or bran also have a significant impact on the digestive system in addition to maintaining the feeling of fullness. That said, bread which is rich in fiber and bran is the right choice for keeping body in shape, Look for at least 4-5 g of fiber in 100 g of bread, which is indicated in the ingredient list", underlines V. Kurpienė.
Seeds can boost metabolism
Nutrition specialist also highlights the importance of various seeds added to bread products, for instance, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, or linseed.
These seeds mainly contains unsaturated fatty acids which are beneficial to human body in numerous ways. Namely, they give a higher sense of satiety whereas fats help body to produce hormones of happiness. In addition to supporting healthy both nervous and cardiovascular system, unsaturated fatty acids can help those who wish to lose weight as they contain copper, zync, and manganese which boost metabolism. In fact, unsaturated fatty acids degrade if they are cooked in high temperature. However, in the bread-cooking process, degrade temperature is not reached and, as a result, human body gets all benefits of unsaturated fatty acids.
People should only bear in mind that bread with seeds have more calories than usually. Therefore V. Kurpiene recommends eating smaller portions of such bread. "Since I like eating more, personally I would choose whole grain bread," said V. Kupiene.
Protection from harmful substances
Finally V. Kurpiene draws attention to these bread ingredients which contain antioxidants. Importantly, they not only support immune system but also reduce inflammation and protects human body from harmful substances. "When we feel well physically, we want to snack less and, consequently, it is easier to burn belly fat," claimed the nutrion expert.
One can find antioxidants, so necessary to human body, in bread seasoning as well.
"For instance, caraway is extremely useful as it not only improves digestion but also reduces abdominal distension and stimulate skin cell regeneration. Also bread products with poppy seeds contain B1-vitamin and support healthy nerve system. Normally, poppy seeds are used in pies and cakes but now this spice is put in some bread products as well," V. Kurpiene explains.
She concludes that the best bread for those who wants to get a flawless body is high-fiber, seasoned, and whole grain bread with little sugar.